It’s undeniable that video games are one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the entertainment industry today, and have remained a powerful medium since their popularization in the mid-1980s.
As technology evolves at an incredible pace, billion-dollar gaming companies push for innovations and new gaming experiences to reshape the way we play video games.
When the first video game was created in the 1950s, no one could have imagined that silly thing would give birth to a multi-billion-dollar industry, with some of the biggest brands in entertainment.
Last year, with countries going under lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry saw some of the greatest growth rates in history, as video games became a popular entertainment alternative for people staying home to comply with health protocols and social distancing measures.
Social gaming experiences like Among Us soared in popularity, virtual reality gaming broke into the mainstream, and a new generation of home consoles hit the shelves in this unprecedented year.
Even though the pandemic is finally winding down with vaccination progressing all around the world, interest in video games remains at a high level, and recent researches projected that new gaming experiences like virtual reality and blockchain games will significantly impact the industry revenues in the next few years.
These new technologies and gaming trends have been paving the way for complete makeovers that are revamping the industry, as developers work hard to quench the gamers’ thirst for innovative gameplays and storylines.
Gaming is certainly one of the sectors that benefited the most from tech advancements, and trends like streaming, mobile gaming, and blockchains have taken the video game world by storm in recent years.
With these advancements, developers and publishers became able to create new gaming experiences, provide immersive environments and enhanced gameplays, to allow players to enjoy different aspects of virtual entertainment. However, it’s safe to say there’s still more to come as video games evolve into a powerhouse within the entertainment industry.
Recent Tech Trends That Changed The Way We Play Video Games
Mobile gaming was a funny little concept way back in 1994, when the Hagenuk MT-2000 became the first mobile to be released with a preinstalled game, a variant of the classic Tetris. Since mobile technology was taking its first steps, to think of a telephone as a platform to play video games was at least odd.
The breakthrough, however, took place three years later, when Nokia launched a series of mobile phones with a preinstalled version of Snake. The game went on to become one of the most played games in the world, found on more than 350 million devices worldwide.
Today, mobile games represent a big share of the video game industry, with developers and publishers increasingly focusing on iOS and Android devices, and releasing new titles on a regular basis.
There are even esports leagues and tournaments that feature mobile games such as Garena Free Fire, Arena of Valor, and Clash Royale. But casual games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds remain a staple among mobile games.
The advancements of mobile gaming can also be seen in the iGaming industry, in which mobiles played a big role in the popularization of online gambling – with the number of smartphones increasing exponentially around the world, gambling companies started to offer their services on these devices.
Today, bettors can play real-money casino games and place wagers on major sports leagues through mobile platforms, and refer to sites like OnlineCasinoGames.com to find mobile friendly websites and even mobile apps.
Since its popularization in the late 2000s, live streaming has been responsible for significant changes in the world of online gaming. Apart from bringing previously obscure games to the spotlight, live streaming also became an efficient advertising medium for developers and publishers, overcoming traditional outlets such as magazines and demo versions.
Besides, if today gaming can be seen as a career and a way to make a living, it’s much thanks to live streaming and platforms like Twitch.
Viewership on Twitch, by the way, continues to increase year after year, and in recent months the platform experienced growth rates never seen before, notably during the first months of the pandemic. Last year, Twitch reported more than 18 billion hours watched, representing a year-over-year increase of more than 65 percent.
Cloud gaming is finally becoming available around the world, giving gamers the possibility of playing video games on remote servers, rendering lengthy downloads and installation processes obsolete.
The concept of cloud gaming has been around for some time now, and the first attempts were made in the early 2000s, by companies like G-Cluster and Crytek. However, due to restricted infrastructure and bandwidth limitations, the development of this technology had to be halted, and we wouldn’t see any advancement until recently.
In the past couple of years, with the improvement of broadband services and streaming technologies, cloud gaming is here to stay. The recent launch of services like Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, PlayStation Now, and GeForce Now, made the interest in cloud gaming soar last year, and in 2021, the expansion of these services made it a reality.
But gamers aren’t the only ones to celebrate the emergence of this new tech trend, since cloud gaming gives publishers an opportunity to monetize old games years after their releases.
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies are some of the hottest trends in the online world today. But what initially seemed like something that would only impact the financial sector, is being used to revamp the way we play video games, and how gamers are rewarded for their time and effort invested into gaming.
The inception of blockchain games took place in the late 2010s, and CryptoKitties, a game in which players collect and breed virtual cats, is credited as the first one. These early blockchain games were mostly centered on collectible gameplays, like the above-mentioned virtual cats and trading cards.
But in the past few months, several innovative gaming experiences have been created, including multiple video game genres like adventure and role-playing games, with the same basic principle: decentralized control.
Decentralizing video games is perhaps the most important aspect of blockchain gaming, as it gives players a whole new world of opportunities, in which they can finally be compensated for all the effort invested in a game with more than just in-game rewards.
Thanks to blockchains and cryptocurrencies, gamers can now truly own a share of the game, being able to monetize all content they create, at last having the possibility of profiting from gaming.